Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Iconic Photo

In photoj this past week, we have been researching an iconic photo. Each student was given a famous or controversial photograph that had an strong impact in the world. We researched our photo and then gave an oral presentation about it and turned in a short essay.

This is the photograph I was assigned:
This is a picture of Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. It was taken on July 20, 1969 by famous astronaut Commander Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 moon landing, the first ever. This photo is iconic because it represents the American patriotism felt by many people during this time, the Cold War era. It also represents the "giant leap for mankind" in the space field. The photo expanded American patriotism as well, because America had beat Russia to the moon during the "Space Race".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A to Z Project

In photojournalism this past couple weeks we have been working on a project that included taking pictures of things (people, pets, objects, places, etc.) usingthe picture taking rules that we learned previously. The rule we used included: filling the frame, framing, repetition, leading lines, emotion, vertical photos, close ups, unique angles, lock the focus, and black and white. We needed to name our photosand each name had to begin with a different letter of the alphabet.

Three of my favorite pictures are shown below with a description of each.

Beetle's View: This picture was taken at my dog's tracking class. This photo is a good example of unique angle and emotion. I named it "Beetle's View" because it is as if a beetle is looking up at the dog.

Knowledge: This is a picture taken of my fathers Harvard Classics collection. This is a very good example of repetition, leading lines, filling the frame, and lock the focus. I like this picture because it is very sharp in the font and blurry in back and just an all over cool picture.

Sleeping Psychic: This is a picture of my dog Jesse sleeping next to his ball. This is a good example of emotion, black and white, fill the frame, and close up. I think this picture looks really good in black and white.

I learned a lot while completing this project. I learned more about how to use photoshop to adjust size and add black and white qualities. I also was able to become better acquainted with the techniques necessary to create innovative photographs. The unique angle and repetition shots were definitely my forte, but my black and white photos and filling the frame were not bad and they definitely improved the more pictures I took.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today in Photojournalism we learned to take self-portraits using the timer on our cameras. Here is the best one we took!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Last Two Rules!

Here are the last two composition rules that you should follow to make your photographs more professional and more eye-pleasing.

Rule Number Nine: Watch the light. Great light makes great pictures but some times of day and types of days make better pictures than others. For "people pictures" - where your subject is a person - cloudy days are the best days to take pictures. These days have soft light and result in excellent pictures. Try to avoid overhead sunlight because it casts harsh shadows across the faces of your subjects. When taking photos of scenery use the long shadows and color of the "magic hour"-the time just after dawn and just before sunset.

Rule Number Ten: Be a picture director. Don't just be another person taking random photographs. Try directing your pictures like a movie director directs movies. Try adding props to your shots, rearrange your subjects, or try a different viewpoint. Bring your subjects together and let their personalities become more evident in the photos. This rule should really only be used during group shots or while taking pictures of friends rather than for photojournalism.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Composition Rules Numbers Seven and Eight

Well, I promised to continue the composition rules and so here are the next two rules. Just to clarify these are rules seven and eight.

Rule Number Seven: Move it from the middle of the screen or the name preferred by most photojournalists is "the rule of thirds". To successfully comply with the rule of thirds place your subject off center. This will bring your photos to life and will draw the viewer's focus onto your subject. Imagine on your camera's screen that there is a tic-tac-toe grid (there is a feature on some cameras that literally put a grid on the screen). Place your subject where two of the lines intersect. Remember when you use this rule that most camera's tend to focus on the center of the picture so don't forget to lock the focus.

Rule Number Eight: Know the range of your flash. pictures taken beyond the range of the flash will be dark and will not be appealing to the eyes. Most cameras have a flash with a range of about 9-10ft. Point-and-Shoot camera's might even be shorter. 9-10 feet is only about 3-4 steps away! If you do not know your flashes range check your manual.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Controversial Photos in the News

Today in class we read and discussed two articles about a controversial photo that the Associated Press decided to publish. The photo was of Lance Corporal Joshua M. Bernard of the United States Marine Corps after a RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) struck him and he was on the verge of death. The Lance Corporal's legs were severely injured and he died later at a field hospital. The family was shown these photos before they were published and Mr. Bernard did not want them published because they disrespected his son's memory. The Associated Press published them anyway.
I think this photo should of been released because not many people in the United States know what its like in the middle east. We are clueless as to the bloody occurrences during a war. I think that the people of the United States need to know about these things so that we can understand what our soldiers sacrifice for us. Lance Corporal Bernard was a hero and he died a hero, the people need to see these things to remember what our heros sacrifice for us.
Another example of controversial pictures were those from 9/11. I don't think any of the photos from September 11, 2001 should not have been shown because they infuriated the American people because it was the first time since Pearl Harbor that the U.S. had been bombed by an outside group or force. These photos remind us exactly what we are fighting for in the middle east and remind us of all the loved ones that we lost during these attacks.
I think the media needs to report the news but I think that if the image does not educate the people on what is really going on it is not necessary to show the public. An example of a photo like this would be a photograph of a murder victim after the murder. The public does not need to see this photo because we know that unfortunately murder happens a lot. Photos of wars, atrocious attacks, and natural disasters that people do not understand or hear about all the time should be shown.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rules Five and Six

Remember those then composition rules? Well, if not go read my previous posts. Here are rules five and six with suggestions with each.
Rule Number Five: Take some vertical pictures. People tend to forget that they can TURN THE CAMERA sideways. Many subjects look better in a vertical picture due to their height or their skinniness. It also eliminates excess space in the background. Make a conscious effort to TURN THE CAMERA sideways. Buildings, trees, flagpoles, and some scenic subjects will look better if you TURN THE CAMERA sideways!

Rule Number Six: Lock the focus. If you lock the focus it creates a sharp picture of off center subjects. It is pretty simple to lock the focus. This technique works VERY well on a professional camera because it focuses much better than a point-and-shoot digital camera. The steps to lock your focus are as follows:
1. Center the subject
2. Press the shutter button half way down
3. Reframe your picture while still holding the shutter button half way
4. Finish by pressing all the way down on the shutter button
These rules will help to make your pictures better, as will all the composition rule posted on here. if you follow these rules you should be able to take some pretty awesome photos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photojournalism Expanded

Photojournalists take pictures of the "verbs" rather than only pictures of "nouns". Photojournalists are visual reporters of the facts. While a journalist or reporter can sit in an office all day a photojournalist MUST be out in the field. A photojournalist should always be prepared because "THE NEWS NEVER STOPS". A photojournalist should NEVER doctor a photograph, they should NEVER alter it to tell untruths, and they should NEVER "set up" a photograph-everything should be natural occurrences. Photojournalism is a dangerous job. Some news situations can be in very dangerous areas of the world. Many photojournalists place themselves into dangerous situations and some never make it out. Like a journalist a photojournalist has a responsibility to their audience to tell the truth and to tell anybody across the globe what the news is. Most people immediately understand an image. Remember: a picture in worth a thousand words.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What is Photojournalism?

What do you think when you hear photojournalism? For me, I think about photography and writing. I think that is what most people think of because the word itself combines "photo" with "journalism" making it pretty obvious what it is. But what exactly is photojournalism? What makes a GOOD photojournalist? And most importantly, What is the difference between photojournalism and regular photography? Photojournalism and Journalism?
Photojournalism is a form of journalism that incorporates pictures to tell a story, most often a news story. A photojournalist IS a reporter but he or she needs to be able to make very quick decisions and needs to carry photographic equipment with them in case a photo opportunity arises in relation to their story. A good photojournalist should always report the facts and should never lie to his or her audience. A photojournalist might need to be in situations that are perilous to the journalists life.
While journalism reports the facts through an article, journal, editorial, etc. A photojournalist reports the facts, action, and details as the journalist sees it through a picture. While a photographer takes pictures, those pictures could be of anything, maybe they follow a common theme as in a portfolio but the images have no meaning together. When a photojournalist takes pictures, the pictures must tell a story. They must express the ideas of the journalist through what they can see through the camera.
Hopefully this little blurb has opened your eyes to what exactly photojournalism is and how it differs from regular journalism and regular photography. As you can see, it includes elements of both and is an excellent way to show ideas about current events and stories.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Composition Rules 3 and 4

Here are two more composition rules that will improve your pictures.

Rule Number 3: Use the Flash Outdoors. Use your flash in bright sunlight to lighten dark shadows under the eyes and nose or if the subject is in the shadows or wearing a hat. Use the flash especially when the sun is above or behind your subject. If you use the flash on clo
udy days it will brighten up the subject's face and make them stand out. Note that flashes are limited be sure to check the distance within which your flash will work.

Rule Number 4: Move in Close/Fill the Frame. If you want impactful pictures move in close to
the subject. Move yourself as close as you can to the subject before using the zoom on your camera. Filling the frame eliminates distractions and shows off the details of the subject. For smaller objects use the camera's marco or "flower" mode to get details and close-ups.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Composition Rules 1 and 2

Who would have thoughtthere were rules for taking pictures?!? Well, there are. These rules are used to produce desirable, well-shot pictures that are pleasing to look at. Basically, if you follow the rules your pictures will look cool. Here are the first two rules:
Rule Number One is to always get on the same level as your subject. Bend down and hold the camera at the subjects eye level or just their level if they don't have eyes. This rule makes the picture more intimate and you get a sharper image. It also allows you to get a better background in the shot.

Rule Number Two is to use a plain background. You don't want a "cluttered background" because it's distracting. A plain background emphasizes the subject. To get a plain background position yourself for the best angle.
Make sure to check the area behind the subject and lookout for trees or poles that might look like they are sticking out of your subject when the picture is taken. Remember, pictures aren't in 3-D. You can't tell if there is any distance between your subject and the tree or pole or if it just growing out of their head.
These are only the first two rules. More will be coming soon!

Who Am I?

In my Photo Journalism class we were assigned a project to show more about ourselves. We were to take 20 pictures of things that we cared about or that are important to us. This is my final product. My pets dominate the page because they are really important to me and are the most fun to photograph. I chose a picture of softballs and a Rice hat because I play softball and am a HUGE Rice Baseball fan! My mom and dad are also in these pictures. I would have taken a picture of my sister too but she didn't want me to. I also have a picture of some of my books that are on my bookshelf. Also a picture of my friends because they are VERY important to me. This project was fun to take pictures of things around my house and of my dogs playing outside!